Chapter 5- Active and Passive Voice and Verbs

Verbs, Active, and Passive

 

A verb can either be active or passive. When the verb is active then the subject of the sentence actually does something.

 

For example:

Maria hit the ball out of the park.

Michaela sang a song.

 

To make a verb passive you just add some form of ‘to be’ to the verb.

 

For example:

 

The dog was walked

The dog is walked

The dog will be walked

 

This lesson is very important to me. Time and time again, while editing, I have seen and noticed how authors are confused about using active verbs. The question you should be asking yourself is this: Would you rather read about someone who sits around and just lets things happen to them, or would you rather read about someone who actually does something?

Don’t shift. Keep your verbs and voice consistent. For examples:

 

When Alice pulled the fire alarm, a loud ringing was heard.

 

‘Was heard’ is passive here and pulled ‘pulled’ is active. This does not match!

 

When Alice pulled the fire alarm, the students heard a loud ringing.

 

‘Heard’ is active here and so is ‘Pulled’. Therefore, they match!

 

Written by Jeyran Main


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